Inside a Rattle Ant Nest

Rattle Ants (Polyrhachis sp.)¬†are big black and shiny tree ants. They look like your best pair of highly polished patent leather shoes. Only ant shaped and a lot smaller and not really shoe-like at all and a bit more shiny. They build messy nests made up of mushed up bark and leaves and silk. The…

Peeping Up Your Petiole

On a lap around the farm last christmas I came across some odd lumps on the petioles (leaf stems) of a cottonwood tree. I suspected straight away they were galls but had no idea the contents. When I came back with the camera I started to promptly and rudely split some galls to photograph what…